In case you hadn’t heard, the Ford Fiesta has been best-seller in the UK for a number of years. Here’s what other European Union countries are buying

The top ten best-selling cars in the UK are easy to spot; on every street there’s at least one Fiesta, Corsa, Focus or Golf.

What is the best-selling car in other countries, though? Find out below which cars the rest of Europe loves as much as the UK loves the Ford Fiesta, measured by market analysts JATO Dynamics:

Austria: Volkswagen Golf

With no mainstream car manufacturers, Austria’s top-seller can’t be from a domestic manufacturer. 4,980 buyers have flocked to the Volkswagen Golf so far in 2017, while the next two are also VW big-hitters; the Tiguan, at 3689, and the Polo at 3105. 

Belgium: Volkswagen Golf

The same can be said for Belgium, but clearly being wedged between France and Germany has its effects: the Volkswagen Golf is the most popular car, followed by the Opel Corsa and Renault Clio. 5941, 4736 and 4703 have found owners respectively in 2017.

Croatia: Renault Clio

It's all change in Croatia; last year, the best-sellers were the Nissan Qashqai and Toyota Yaris, while this year, the Renault Clio, Ford Focus and Opel Astra take the top three so far, with 873, 805 and 764 sales respectively.

Czechia: Skoda Octavia

No two guesses which carmaker rules supreme here - the Skoda Octavia has sold 9040 units and the second-best-seller was the Fabia, which sold 7161, in fact, half of the country’s top ten best-sellers are Skodas. The Rapid takes third, with 3777 sold so far.

Denmark: Peugeot 208

Peugeot’s only top spot in Europe is in Denmark, where 3847 208s have found homes in 2017 so far, while the next best-seller was the Nissan Qashqai, of which 2835 were sold. Trailing slightly in third place is the Volkswagen Polo; 2653 have found homes so far this year.

Estonia: Skoda Octavia

Estonia has a proclivity for larger cars, it would seem, as the Skoda Octavia takes pole position having sold 393 cars, while 340 and 309 units put the Renault Clio and Toyota Avensis in second and third place respectively.

Finland: Skoda Octavia

Skoda claims another victory in Finland with the Octavia – 2280 have been there in 2017. Second place was taken by the Nissan Qashqai, although only slightly less – 2043 – have been sold across the year so far. Volvo's S90 and V90 combine to take third place with 1502 sales.

France: Renault Clio

Little surprise here; France’s top car is the Renault Clio, and a whopping 39,379 take it right to the top. The Peugeot 208 takes second place, with 35,318 units being sold, while the other French supermini, the Citroën C3, takes third with 27,073. Only one car, the Dacia Sandero, in France’s top ten last year wasn’t from France, but even then, Dacia is Renault-owned.

Germany: Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf and Tiguan took a 1-2 on home turf, with the Golf having sold 54,505 cars in the country – the best-selling car in any single market. It sells so well that the second-place Tiguan sold less than half this number; 24,790, while the Polo follows just behind on 24,763. GM-owned Opel Astra and Corsa – fifth and tenth with 65,197 and 55196 sales – were the only non-German-owned cars in the top ten last year.

Greece: Toyota Yaris

The Toyota Yaris takes the top spot in Greece, with 1882 cars sold, compared to the second-place Opel Corsa’s 1062 units sold. Third goes to the Nissan Micra; 993 have found Greek homes since January 1st.

Hungary: Suzuki Vitara

Hungarian buyers are hungry (sorry) for the Suzuki Vitara, quite probably because it's made there -  the model sold 2433 units there in 2016. Meanwhile, the Skoda Octavia sold 1643 down in second place, and the Opel Astra has sold 1330.

Ireland: Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai has well and truly taken hold in Ireland; the Tucson was the best-selling car across the Irish sea in 2016, and grew by a staggering 11,323% over 2015, and remains at the top for 2017, having sold 3382 units so far. The Nissan Qashqai, meanwhile, sold 3038, and the Skoda Octavia, in third place, knocks the Volkswagen Golf out of the top three, with 2598 sales.

Italy: Fiat Panda

Nationalism wins, once again – the Fiat Panda is the best-selling car in Italy so far this year, with 59,965 finding homes. The Lancia Ypsilon was second, with a comparatively piddly 27,142. The Fiat 500, having shifted 22,724, was a close-ish third. It was a 60/40 split between Fiat Chrysler group cars and other manufacturers in Italy last year, with the Renault Clio, Ford Fiesta, and Volkswagens Polo and Golf in the top ten, too.

Latvia: Nissan Qashqai

Another win for Nissan – the Qashqai claims a small victory so far this year, with 294 sold overall. The Skoda Octavia came in second, having sold 233 units, while the third-place Kia Sportage sold 203. 

Lithuania: Fiat 500

Fiat’s second pole position came in Lithuania, where the 500 has sold 785 so far, while the Nissan Qashqai is the second best-seller, on 305. Skoda's Octavia sneaks a third with 298.

Luxembourg: Volkswagen Golf

Luxembourg’s market mirrors Belgium’s, with the Volkswagen Golf and Tiguan taking first and second, and the Renault Clio taking third. Each has sold 616, 464 and 400 units respectively.

Netherlands: Renault Clio

It's all change for the Dutch! The Volkswagen Golf has been ousted from its top spot and out of the top three altogether - the Renault Clio, Volkswagen Up and Kia Picanto have usurped it, with 4140, 3743 and 3714 sales. 

Norway: Volkswagen Golf

Surprise! The Volkswagen Golf is the best-selling car in Norway so far this year, with 2764 sold. The BMW i3 was in second place, but has sold a third less than the Golf’s Norwegian total, at 1939. The Passat remains in third place, at 1716. 

Poland: Skoda Fabia

 

Skoda took another top two in Poland, with the Fabia and Octavia taking first and second place; the Fabia taking 6359 and Octavia taking 6272 sales in the country. Opel's Astra is third, on 5648. 

Portugal: Renault Clio

French superminis find more homes than anything else in Portugal, as the Renault Clio has sold 4542 as the country’s best-seller and the Peugeot 208 sold 2717, while the Renault Mégane has sold 2445.

Romania: Dacia Logan

Dacia took its home market by storm last year, and continues to do so. The Logan and Duster make up the top two, with the former finding homes in 4018 garages, and the latter parked in 1896. The Sandero takes fourth place, and Ford Focus slips in at third in the Romanian market, with 1218.

Slovakia: Skoda Fabia

The Skoda Fabia takes its first pole position in Slovakia, while its bigger brother, the Octavia, isn’t far behind. The Fabia has been bought by 1734 Slovakians, and the Octavia has been bought by 1710. The Rapid, in third place, has sold 1167.

Slovenia: Renault Clio

The Renault Clio claims another first place in the Slovenian market, with 1434 sales ensuring its lead over the Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Golf, which sold 903 and 895. The Clio is due to be built in Slovenia in facelifted form, which should help it maintain its lofty position there.

Spain: Seat Ibiza

What’s Spanish for ‘quelle surprise’? The Seat Ibiza and Leon take gold and silver in Spain, with 14,022 and 12,692 finding a place in the sun last year, and the Opel Corsa's 11,382 sales give it third place. Surprisingly, though, the rest of the top ten is a healthy mix. Introductions of the Ateca and Arona SUVs could make Seat’s footprint in Spain larger, though.

Sweden: Volvo S90/V90

There was uproar last year when the Volkswagen Golf took the lead in Sweden’s car market from Volvo, but three Volvos combined took second: the S80, V70 and XC70. The S90 and V90 are back on top now anyway, with 7631 sales, while the XC60 pushes the Golf down into third place; 6988 sales beating the German's 5764.

Switzerland: Skoda Octavia

With no native carmakers of any large volume, the Swiss buy the Skoda Octavia, Volkswagen Golf and Volkswagen Tiguan more than any other cars. 3266 have bought an Octavia so far this year, and 2270 and 1748 have bought Golfs and Tiguans.

UK: Ford Fiesta

The Fiesta is perched atop the lofty list of the UK’s top-sellers, with 43,162 this year so far. 27,307 Ford Focus and 23,765 Vauxhall Corsa sales cement second and third places for the best-seller regulars. You can find the rest of the best-seller list here

Read more: 

Top 10 best-selling cars in Britain

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Our Verdict

Ford Fiesta
Fiestas sold in Europe are ostensibly the same as those sold in America and Asia

The seventh-generation Ford Fiesta is the UK's best selling car, helped by frugal engines, handling verve and a big car feel

Join the debate

Comments
63

20 January 2017
Why anyone would choose to buy that overpriced, unreliable turgid piece of machinery the VW Golf is beyond me.

Indifferent handling, an interior which makes Leonard Cohen's greatest hits seem cheerful, average reliability, diesel engines which not only have cheat devices but also are as rough as a badgers behind all line up against it.

Give me the keys to a Focus or a Honda Civic any day, usually cheaper, better built, better to drive, more reliable etc etc

20 January 2017
odie_the_dog wrote:

Why anyone would choose to buy that overpriced, unreliable turgid piece of machinery the VW Golf is beyond me.

Indifferent handling, an interior which makes Leonard Cohen's greatest hits seem cheerful, average reliability, diesel engines which not only have cheat devices but also are as rough as a badgers behind all line up against it.

Give me the keys to a Focus or a Honda Civic any day, usually cheaper, better built, better to drive, more reliable etc etc

I'll take the bait...firstly, unreliable? Hmmm..had a Mk4 Golf, Mk5 and two Mk7's and not ONE problem with any of them. Don't tar every car with the same brush. (For the record I haven't had those cars back to back before you say I am an all out VW fan).

Indifferent handling - yep I would say a Focus handles better but as an all rounder it's a good balance and I am not the first and won't be the last to say this and the Mk7 is fairly decent - the Mk4 was woeful admittedly.

Interior...yeah OK, the interior on my current GTD must be awful according to you. The interior isn't why I bought it, but it sure is a nice place to sit without having the pretentious status that goes with say an A3 or 1 series. To add, a friend with a new Focus sat in mine and said how nice it was...

Rough diesel engines - really? Mine isn't rough and the same engine performs well on that front in other VAG cars too, eg Octavia, Leon etc.

And the last point, yep I would say the Focus is generally better to drive when comparing all versions and it is cheaper, yes you are absolutely right. Better built? That's down to opinion and perhaps personal experiences. The Civic? I like Honda, but gees, you're trying to tell me that ugly Civic is a better car?! Yeah right - that's why it outsells the Golf does it?

But by all means hang on to your obviously ongoing hatred of the car, for every single one of us who have bought one are wrong, and you, are completely right. Well done.

20 January 2017
odie_the_dog wrote:

Why anyone would choose to buy that overpriced, unreliable turgid piece of machinery the VW Golf is beyond me.

Indifferent handling, an interior which makes Leonard Cohen's greatest hits seem cheerful, average reliability, diesel engines which not only have cheat devices but also are as rough as a badgers behind all line up against it.

Give me the keys to a Focus or a Honda Civic any day, usually cheaper, better built, better to drive, more reliable etc etc

I'll take the bait...firstly, unreliable? Hmmm..had a Mk4 Golf, Mk5 and two Mk7's and not ONE problem with any of them. Don't tar every car with the same brush. (For the record I haven't had those cars back to back before you say I am an all out VW fan).

Indifferent handling - yep I would say a Focus handles better but as an all rounder it's a good balance and I am not the first and won't be the last to say this and the Mk7 is fairly decent - the Mk4 was woeful admittedly.

Interior...yeah OK, the interior on my current GTD must be awful according to you. The interior isn't why I bought it, but it sure is a nice place to sit without having the pretentious status that goes with say an A3 or 1 series. To add, a friend with a new Focus sat in mine and said how nice it was...

Rough diesel engines - really? Mine isn't rough and the same engine performs well on that front in other VAG cars too, eg Octavia, Leon etc.

And the last point, yep I would say the Focus is generally better to drive when comparing all versions and it is cheaper, yes you are absolutely right. Better built? That's down to opinion and perhaps personal experiences. The Civic? I like Honda, but gees, you're trying to tell me that ugly Civic is a better car?! Yeah right - that's why it outsells the Golf does it?

But by all means hang on to your obviously ongoing hatred of the car, for every single one of us who have bought one are wrong, and you, are completely right. Well done.

20 January 2017
AddyT wrote:
odie_the_dog wrote:

Why anyone would choose to buy that overpriced, unreliable turgid piece of machinery the VW Golf is beyond me.

Indifferent handling, an interior which makes Leonard Cohen's greatest hits seem cheerful, average reliability, diesel engines which not only have cheat devices but also are as rough as a badgers behind all line up against it.

Give me the keys to a Focus or a Honda Civic any day, usually cheaper, better built, better to drive, more reliable etc etc

I'll take the bait...firstly, unreliable? Hmmm..had a Mk4 Golf, Mk5 and two Mk7's and not ONE problem with any of them. Don't tar every car with the same brush. (For the record I haven't had those cars back to back before you say I am an all out VW fan).

Indifferent handling - yep I would say a Focus handles better but as an all rounder it's a good balance and I am not the first and won't be the last to say this and the Mk7 is fairly decent - the Mk4 was woeful admittedly.

Interior...yeah OK, the interior on my current GTD must be awful according to you. The interior isn't why I bought it, but it sure is a nice place to sit without having the pretentious status that goes with say an A3 or 1 series. To add, a friend with a new Focus sat in mine and said how nice it was...

Rough diesel engines - really? Mine isn't rough and the same engine performs well on that front in other VAG cars too, eg Octavia, Leon etc.

And the last point, yep I would say the Focus is generally better to drive when comparing all versions and it is cheaper, yes you are absolutely right. Better built? That's down to opinion and perhaps personal experiences. The Civic? I like Honda, but gees, you're trying to tell me that ugly Civic is a better car?! Yeah right - that's why it outsells the Golf does it?

But by all means hang on to your obviously ongoing hatred of the car, for every single one of us who have bought one are wrong, and you, are completely right. Well done.

Reliability surveys never put VW cars at the top end. odie_the_dog mentioned Honda Civic as a better alternative. It certainly is, as far as reliability is concerned, and in many other aspects, too. But Europe sticks to European made cars, maybe wisely, since they want to keep European employed.

21 January 2017
odie_the_dog wrote:

Why anyone would choose to buy that overpriced, unreliable turgid piece of machinery the VW Golf is beyond me.

Indifferent handling, an interior which makes Leonard Cohen's greatest hits seem cheerful, average reliability, diesel engines which not only have cheat devices but also are as rough as a badgers behind all line up against it.

Give me the keys to a Focus or a Honda Civic any day, usually cheaper, better built, better to drive, more reliable etc etc

Focus? As soon as you say you like that shitheap all merit to your views is lost.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left

 

22 January 2017
Or any of these cars you mention? Actually don't answer, as I really don't care.

I can't stand Nissan Jukes. Vile things. I've never driven one either. Probably an excellent car, but to me, all I want to do is punch the car right between it's horrible headlights and kick it up it's stunted posterior. I am sure owners all over the country are horrified when they turn up back at the local NCP and find me attempting to start a fight with their car. It just does that to me. Same with Nissan micras for some reason. Weird.

But we're all entitled to our own opinions no matter how unfounded/deluded/unreasonable they are.

Spanner

31 May 2017
odie_the_dog wrote:

Why anyone would choose to buy that overpriced, unreliable turgid piece of machinery the VW Golf is beyond me.

Indifferent handling, an interior which makes Leonard Cohen's greatest hits seem cheerful, average reliability, diesel engines which not only have cheat devices but also are as rough as a badgers behind all line up against it.

Give me the keys to a Focus or a Honda Civic any day, usually cheaper, better built, better to drive, more reliable etc etc

Oh well, your decision

1 June 2017
odie_the_dog wrote:

Why anyone would choose to buy that overpriced, unreliable turgid piece of machinery the VW Golf is beyond me.

Indifferent handling, an interior which makes Leonard Cohen's greatest hits seem cheerful, average reliability, diesel engines which not only have cheat devices but also are as rough as a badgers behind all line up against it.

Give me the keys to a Focus or a Honda Civic any day, usually cheaper, better built, better to drive, more reliable etc etc

I've rented the latest Focus, and that interior is bargain basement disgrace.
My Mk5 Edition 30, highly tuned, ran like a champ for 4 years, 70000km, no problems, only annoying thing was rattle from hatch door almost right from the start, easily fixed with a bit of tape. And GTI interior, the seat, the steering wheel, the ergonomics, the touch screen nav system (that neither Audi or Porsche had)...Focus, puleease...

No manual - no fun

20 January 2017
What do you mean the Opel Astra and Corsa are the only non-Germans in the top ten? Opel is German.

20 January 2017
Opel is General Motors which is American.

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